A look at Mark Richey’s personal pursuits provides valuable insight into his business attitude.
“As an avid mountain climber and explorer, I have traveled a lot, seen many cultures and had many intense experiences,” says Richey, the president of Mark Richey Woodworking & Design. “That’s given me a lot of confidence and a unique perspective that has been invaluable.”
After starting out as a carpenter after high school, Richey worked in a harpsichord shop building fine musical instruments for William Dowd. At night, he studied architecture until finally beginning his own business building custom kitchens and furniture in the basement of his apartment. Now his company, Mark Richey Woodworking & Design, crafts and installs high-end architectural millwork. The company’s Convexity Capital project was recently honored with the Architectural Woodwork Institute’s 2008 Standard of Excellence Award in the Corporate category, and was named the overall winner of the 2008 AWI Standard of Excellence grand prize.
Richey takes great pride in the company’s green and renewable energy initiatives, and strives for the company to continue to be a leader in green manufacturing and state-of-the-art technology. “We are currently heating our entire facility with wood waste in a state-of-the-art bio-mass furnace and are in the final stages of erecting a 600kw wind turbine, which will deliver about 85 percent of our total electricity needs,” he says. “We’ve also pushed recycling and waste reduction as much as possible. I believe energy independence for this country is critical to our economy, our environment and to our national security.”
The company’s support for community and work with charitable foundations are also a strong source of satisfaction for Richey. “We recently funded the construction of a school for girls in remote Afghanistan,” he says. “Today, 50 children are able to get an education that they wouldn’t have had otherwise.”
Richey credits his woodworking success from past experiences that taught him valuable traits. “Working in the harpsichord shop taught me quality and attention to detail,” he says. “I learned speed and efficiency from some very good carpenters renovating restaurants and fine homes, and I learned to design and appreciate architecture at the Boston Architectural Center where I was lucky to have some great professors.
“My wife Teresa, who’s my business partner, also taught me to be a better businessman.”
Mark Richey: Quick Glimpse
• Education: 4 years of college at Boston Architectural Center (BAC)
• Years at the company: 27
• Years in the industry: 32
• Words that best describe you: Passionate about our craft
• The person you have tried to emulate in business and why: Yvon Chouinard, founder and visionary for Patagonia Inc. and fellow mountain climber.
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